24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
To desire to do something is to have will, an interest in doing it. Jesus here tells His disciples that if anyone has a will, an interest, and a desire to follow Him to deny himself, to take up his cross and follow Christ. The same word, “desire,” is used in the negative side as well. We can desire to save our lives and we can desire to lose our lives. What is your will in life, your resolve, or your determination? There are many things that fill in this blank; there are things of great value and things of no value and everything in between.
With the advent of Google and voice activated devices, we can research any desire of our hearts in seconds, find reviews about them, and determine in a minute if we want to fulfill that desire or not. The call of Jesus is far beyond a minute or a quick stop at Amazon. The call of the Savior is a call for a new desire in this life. We are born desiring our own ways at getting through life, but Jesus calls us to go after His way for our lives.
Jesus finishes with a very great contrast. We can gain the world and lose our souls or we can gain our souls and lose the world. James called everything of the world, the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” Jesus is saying that you can be Mr. or Mrs. World; you can have everything that everyone of this world thinks is important, but without Him, you have lost something of far greater value – you have lost your soul.
I guess that the choice Jesus is giving his disciples, not the crowd, is this, what are you going to desire? Whatever you chose you will also get the results, the consequences of that choice. So choose wisely, choose carefully, and determine to set the affections of your life, the focus of your mind on following the Savior.
While the U.S. was getting pummeled with Florence, the Philippines was getting pummeled worse, China got hit and Nigeria lost over 100 people to flooding. “Dear God, save these people, these men and women made in your image, from destruction. Call them to Yourself and send men and women to them with the help they need and with the Gospel.” Cry out to God to intervene in these lives that have lost so much.
I thank God for a wonderful day Sunday. We had church on Sunday morning with missions report from the Rice family who have been in China and are going to Italy. Brian and Victoria need our prayers as they go forward to serve the Savior. I brought a message on the humility of Christ and the church. That message will be on the website soon. Then at 5:00 we had eleven teenagers over until 8:00. We played games and laughed and ate and talked about their futures. We still need a couple to step up to love our teenagers when we leave.
This coming Sunday morning, September 23rd, Grace for Life will be joining One Way Church in Aurora for their morning service. Put this on your calendar.
Have a great day in the Lord,